Best Pens for Fast Writing (Plus How to Write More Quickly)

Did you know that the average typist can type at twice the speed of handwriting? Many people can only write at 10-15 words per minute. If you love making handwritten notes, or often need to make notes when a keyboard isn’t nearby, it’s time to pump those numbers up.

In order to write more quickly, it’s important that you find the right pen for fast writing. Have you ever picked up a pen and thought “wow, this feels great to write with?” – that’s what we’re looking for.

You may be surprised at the options of types of pens for fast writing. In this guide, we’re breaking down each of the different styles of pen, and how they can help. On top of this, we’ve got some recommended models of pen for every budget.

Gel Pens

Gel pens are the fastest writing implements you can get, but only if you get a quality model.

These pens use a water-based ink, that has been thickened before being put into the pen. It comes out consistently, and allows you to scribble down notes really quickly. They’re some of the best pens for writing smoothly.

The number of dud gel pens on the market is shocking. If the ink is poor quality, and the mechanism for releasing the ink isn’t up to scratch, you may as well be trying to write with a blunt pencil.

Quick-drying ink is another vital feature for a gel pen. Some gels take a long time to dry, and this increases your chances of smudging the writing. Your fast note-taking is useless if you can’t read it back.

Recommended Gel Pen: PILOT G2 Premium Refillable & Retractable Rolling Ball Gel Pens

The PILOT G2 pen fits the bill for quick notes and improving your writing speed. It’s also a great choice for the environment due to the fact that it is refillable. The mechanism releases ink quickly and evenly, and the comfortable rubber grip means that even after hours of scribbling, you shouldn’t get dreaded blisters.

Long-lasting and quick-drying ink also makes this a good choice for journaling or even for some art uses.

Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are incredibly popular, but they may not be the speediest writing implement.

That said, you can get your hands on some quality ballpoint mechanisms, and if you feel most comfortable with the quick-drying ink within, you don’t have to stray from ballpoint.

Traditionally, the thicker ink that is in these pens means you have to add a bit more pressure and be more heavy-handed. A lot of modern pens are using “hybrid ink”. This has added lubrication and means the ball mechanism within moves a lot more quickly.

The same truism applies to these pens, too. Cheap, nasty ballpoint pens will be harder to write with. For speed, you need to find a smooth ballpoint option.

Recommended: Zebra Pen Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen

An affordable yet quality set of ballpoint pens. The Zebra Pen Z is a retractable ballpoint. The manufacturers claim this is their smoothest ever pen, and we’d be inclined to agree.

It has a 1.0mm point and low viscosity ink. This makes it easier for the ink to release onto the paper and in turn means you can write much more quickly. There is also a latex-free grip to make it more comfortable and soft on hands even if you are furiously scribbling notes.

Rollerball Pens

Another type of pen that uses water ink. This helps to make it smooth, but if you’re a left-handed writer beware. They don’t dry quickly, and this makes smudging far more likely. In fact, you can almost as easily smudge your writing if you’re right-handed.

That’s why we’d say rollerball pens are probably in third place for speed. That said, some of the top pen manufacturers have seen the light. There are new types of quick-drying ink being incorporated into rollerball pens. This makes life easier for taking notes or writing in shorthand.

Recommended: Arteza Rollerball Pens

These rollerball pens are great for artists, and can even be used for line and wash and other techniques.

Arteza is a brand we really love here at Artypod. They tend to produce excellent art supplies.

Though these pens are built to be precise and give thick and full lines with the liquid ink, you can find that they flow more quickly and freely than other rollerballs, with ink that doesn’t tend to fade or bleed.

As well as being non-toxic, you can buy the Arteza pens in bulk packs so you’re never without a pen when you need one.

Types of Pen We Don’t Recommend for Speed

Some pens are not ideal for writing quickly. For example, we recommend staying away from fountain pens, which tend to take longer to dry. They can give beautiful results and improve your handwriting quality, but not your efficiency.

Though it’s not really a “type” of pen, we also recommend you stay away from cheap models. Your pen needs to have a quality mechanism and quick-dry ink. You’re not going to get this for a few dollars in a supermarket.

Why Learn to Write Quickly?

There are so many advantages to being able to write quickly. Many job roles may even dictate that you need to be able to scribble down your ideas in a short time span.

  • Lectures. If you don’t want to record your lecture, you can take notes, but if you are slow then you are likely to miss details.
  • Interviews. It’s a good idea to make notes during an interview, and being able to do this quickly means more accuracy.
  • Exams. If you’ve ever taken an exam that requires essay answers, you’ll know what a strain it can be on your hands and your brain. A pen allows you to at least write more quickly and get more ideas on paper in your limited examination time.
  • Communicating ideas. If you’re the sort of person who fills notebooks with ideas and plans then you will find this extra pace to be a handy tool.
  • Homework. Writing speed can make it take a lot longer to get your homework done. Anything that increases your free time has got to be a bonus, right?
  • Writing quickly improves automaticity, so you aren’t having to trouble your working memory. You can focus on what you are going to write, rather than the process of writing itself.

How Fast is Fast?

If you want to write quickly and neatly then you might be able to achieve around 20 words per minute. If you use shorthand techniques you might be able to achieve speeds of up to 225 words per minute.

Copying and transcribing are much quicker than writing creatively, so keep this in mind. If you are having to come up with your own ideas such as prose, the speed you can write at might be insignificant, because your hand may be faster than your brain anyway!

How to Write More Quickly – Simple Tips

The right pen for writing is utterly essential. A poor-quality pen will feel scratchy, almost like it is getting stuck in the paper. Without it, you’ll really struggle to get any speed.

There is such thing as good technique and bad technique. If you are looking to write fast, as well as avoiding discomfort, cramps, and even blisters, you need to nail your technique. To write well, you should use your fingers as the main guide, and your arms and shoulder to move the pen around, rather than the wrist. Using your wrist to move around the paper is a guaranteed way to tire quickly.

On top of this, practice holding the pen really softly. You shouldn’t be clinging on for dear life, just make sure you have a stable grip and can stay steady while you move the pen around.

Posture can play a part, too. Remember to sit upright with your back straight while you write, this can take some of the pressure off your joints. Your posture should allow you to rest your forearms in front of you on the table or the desk you are using.

Grip – The Handwriting Myth

Did you know that the way you grip the pencil in your hand has virtually no impact on your speed or effectiveness?

If you were ever told at school that your pen grip was incorrect, you can take great pleasure in knowing this was untrue. The lesson to take from this is that however you are comfortable, you can achieve the same results. You simply need to do what feels best for you.

That said, consider a pen with a comfortable grip section. This means that no matter how you hold your pen, you reduce the risk of blisters and soreness after you’ve spent some time writing.

The Lost Art of Writing Fast

Handwriting is becoming less popular as people have access to devices such as laptops and mobile phones, but there is a lot to be said for handwriting. It’s often more convenient to take a notebook than your laptop. On top of that, you will usually absorb more information by hand writing than you would typing.

We can use devices to record interviews and lectures, and writers can type their latest ideas, but plenty of us still adore the feel of pen on paper, and increasing your efficiency increases your output.

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